Remember: One year's seeds, seven years' weeds!
It is a fact of life that if we have a lawn and garden we will have to deal with weeds from time to time. The trick is to control weeds early rather than let them get out of control so they set seed all over your yard – this is bad news! Some single plants can produce up to 10,000 seeds.
By keeping your lawn fed, watered and healthy, you should be able to avoid problems with weeds. A healthy lawn will suffocate most weeds. Hand removal and mowing regularly are usually easy ways to remove weeds, however some more stubourn weeds may need a spray!
We highly recommend an application of Oxafert weed pre-emergent to keep weeds at bay, especially in autumn and winter.
Bindii or Caltrop
Everyone knows Bindii by the annoyingly painful seeds it creates that somehow always end up in your bare foot! Bindii is a low growing weed with a flower at its centre. At maturity, the flower produces a prickly seed pod which is a particular menace during the warmer months when we are trying to enjoy our lawns.
Bindii has fine, small, fern-like leaves that are light green in colour.
Bindii grows in the Winter and goes to seed in early Spring. The best time to target Bindii is in Winter before it produces the seed pod and spreads throughout your lawn. If you start treatment early, Bindii is easily managed.
How to treat Bindii
Bindii can be managed by hand or by applying a selective broadleaf herbicide like Bin-Die or Lawn Solutions Australia All Purpose Weed Control. This will help to eradicate these weeds in all lawn types including kikuyu and couch and are safe to use on most varieties of buffalo.
A couple of repeat applications may be required in order to kill off Bindi that continue to emerge.
Clovers have green leaves with white circular markings, on thin stems. Clovers are a weed in lawn, but in other areas can be beneficial due to high nutritional value. Four leafed plants are very lucky, so don’t poison those!
In a lot of cases when you see clover growing in your lawn it means that there isn’t enough nitrogen in the soil and a fertilise will help by giving your lawn an increase in nitrogen and slow the clover down. We recommend a slow-release granular fertiliser such as Lawn Solutions Premium Lawn Food.
How to treat Clover
As clover can be a sign of nitrogen deficiency, if you haven’t fertilised your lawn recently, an application could help to control clover growth in your lawn.
Clover can be easily managed by hand-pulling or applying a selective broadleaf herbicide like Bin-Die or Lawn Solutions Australia All Purpose Weed Control.
Cudweed has glossy light green leaves in a rosette shape. Under the leaf, it is white and furry. It has various flowering habits from mid-spring to early summer, or in autumn.
The Cudweed has various small flowers on its stems with fibrous roots. Cudweed is difficult to kill due to its glossy leaves.
Crowsfoot grass is a summer annual that grows in easy to identify tufts, staying fairly flat to the ground with almost white flat sheathed stems and smooth strap like leaves. Crowsfoot grass is a difficult to control weed that can tolerate low mowing and will thrive in nutrient deprived and compacted soil conditions.
How to treat crowsfoot
The best way to remove crowsfoot is to chip out by hand. Make sure when doing so that you carefully remove the entire plant and don’t spread any seeds during the process.
You can also treat the individual tufts of Crowsfoot with a glyphosate type product like Round Up or Zero. Just be careful when doing so, as anything you touch with the product will likely die including your lawn! We recommend to use a paintbrush or similar to target just the weed with this product.
Dandelions have toothed leaves that are light green. They are identified by their solitary, double-yellow, daisy like flowers on hollow stems, milky sap, rosette shape and thick contractile, fleshy tap-root.
How to treat Dandelion
Control with hand removal or spot spray herbicide All Purpose Weed Control. This is a broad leaf herbicide safe to use on all lawn varieties including buffalo, kikuyu, couch and fescue.
Kikuyu is a common grass variety; however, it is highly invasive by nature and can end up in gardens and lawns where it is not wanted. It has runners that grow above ground and underground, therefore it can pop up in garden beds and pavers, or even under your neighbour’s fence!
As Kikuyu is a common grass variety, it can be very hard to eradicate. Generally, anything that will kill the Kikuyu, will also kill the lawn you’re trying to get it out of.
How to treat kikuyu
Control by spot spraying with a glyphosate based product such as Round Up. You must take care not to touch the plants or lawn surrounding as it will kill these too. You will need to keep treating until you have no more outbreaks.
Digging out and removing contaminated areas is the most effective way of removing it.
Alternatively, Monument Herbicide can be used for suppression of kikuyu growth, but is not safe to use on buffalo lawn varieties.
Mallow weed has a long, deep tap root and lobed leaves. It is a fast spreader if left untreated as it can seed itself. It is most commonly found in Southern states and pops up through autumn and winter.
How to treat Mallow
Young, immature mallow weeds can be pulled by hand or hoed as soon as they pop up.
Alternatively, an application of an MCPA or Dicamba based herbicide such as All Purpose Weed Control
Nutgrass is a noxious weed that gets its name from its nut-like tubers found on the plant’s roots. It is usually identifiable from its lighter green leaves that grow taller than the rest of your lawn. It has 3 blades that will shoot up from the stem. The stem will be triangular rather than circular stem like most grasses.
Nutgrass is incredibly difficult to eradicate and can remain inactive in soil for long periods of time. It can be as simple as a disruption of soil or the addition of nutrients or water to an area that causes a dormant nut within the soil to begin to grow.
How to treat Nutgrass
If there is only a small amount, you can remove it by digging it out with a small spade, but you have to be extremely diligent with this to ensure there is no roots or bulbs left in the soil, as Nutgrass will reappear if left behind. Simply pulling the nutgrass out by hand will leave these nut-like tubers in the soil, allowing them to continue to spread. If there is a large amount of Nutgrass in your lawn, you will need to treat it with a selective herbicide such as Amgrow Sedgehammer. Repeated applications may be required to ensure complete eradication.
A dark green clumping grass that occurs in lawns in winter season.
Rye Grass normally germinates with first large rain of season and continues through to Spring. Rye Grass is sometimes used as a type of cool season grass cover, however mostly rye grass is a weed problem in warm season lawns.
It is imperative to treat Rye Grass as soon as possible, as it is a prolific seeder.
Soursobs present as a dense mat of clover-like leaves along the surface. It is extremely hard to kill, especially in lawns, as it has a fast-growing onion-shaped bulb system. Autumn and winter is when Soursobs are at their peak growing stage. Cultivating is certainly not recommended during this time, as it will spread the rhizomes further, which will result in more bulbs to form.
Soursob is prolific in South Australia – over 1.25 million hectares are infested!
How to treat Soursob
The best way to manage soursobs is to mow them off continuously. This attacks the weed at its weakest stage. As your lawn roots establish, they will suffocate the soursobs, resulting in them dying.
Another method which can be more timely is to use a paint brush with glyphosate and paint each individual plant, making sure to get NONE on your lawn as it will kill anything it touches.
Duke Herbicide has some promising results in tackling soursob too.
Winter Grass (Poa Annua) is a low growing turf grass. It has soft, drooping green leaves grown in tufts with triangular shaped seed heads. If you allow Winter Grass to drop its seeds, next winter it will be back, twice as badly as it was the previous year.
How to treat Winter Grass
Winter Grass can be removed very easily by hand as it doesn’t have particularly deep roots and it doesn’t have any runners; growing in simple clumps. Applying a selective winter grass control such as Amgrows Winter Grass Killer will help to eradicate these weeds from your lawn. It is safe to use on buffalo lawns (including Sir Walter DNA Certified), blue and common couches, but should be avoided on Kikuyu.
Commonly mistaken for weeds, seed heads can show up in your lawn a couple of times a year, usually in Spring and Summer. They look quite different depending on the lawn variety that you have and are your lawns natural ‘flower’, growing from the leaves themselves. They can often give your lawn a purple or white colour which can ruin the aesthetics of your lovely green lawn. It’s also good to know that most lawn seed heads in newly developed lawns such as soft leaf buffalo, kikuyu and couch are sterile,
meaning that they will not spread into other areas and grow from these seeds.
How to treat seed heads
Your lawn going to seed isn’t necessarily a bad thing however they don’t look or feel great underfoot. Most of the time, your lawn will stop going to seed on its own within 2-3 weeks and simply mowing them off will keep your lawn looking great.
If there has been a sudden change in the weather recently, the seeding will stop once the plant has adjusted. Although they are normal through some months of the year, if they are persistent and don’t go away, they could be a sign that your lawn is under stress from something, usually a lack of water or nutrient. If you haven’t recently, fertilise your lawn with a good quality slow release granular fertiliser. Double check that your sprinkler system is working effectively and give your lawn a good soak if needed.
Oxafert weed pre-emergent is the number one tool for fighting weeds.
The idea of using a pre-emergent herbicide is to target weed seeds before they take hold by forming a barrier at soil level that affects the germination of any new seedlings. The combination of fertiliser and pre-emergent product provides an ideal mechanism to take the herbicide to just under the soil and the fertiliser helps give a quick boost to your lawn.
Controlling both broadleaf and annual grass-type weeds including Winter Grass and Crowsfoot, the pre-emergent herbicide works by stopping any new seedings in their tracks – yet won’t inhibit any root growth of your established turf. The herbicide active ingredient has a residual effect for around three months, so is ideal to apply seasonally to coincide with the different weed types throughout the year.
Just remember, it won’t kill existing weeds, Oxafert prevents germination. So, as the temperatures warm up and the weed seed springs to life, Oxafert kills them before they emerge.
Available in 2 convenient sizes – Oxafert covering up to 100m2 and Oxapro for up to 660m2
Still not sure?
Need help identifying a different type of weed or require further information?
Check out our YouTube channel for visual advice on weeds and lawn care.